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bewildered
Sunday, 8 June 2008 at 6:52pm
Thursday, 31 October 2019 at 4:45pm
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page 1 of 63 recent posts

Thread: PhD or job? Help please!

posted
09-Apr-18, 14:49
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posted about 1 year ago
I went into the CS fast stream after my MA although policy not social research. Some of my MA friends went on to do PhDs, and none went into academia though most had wanted to - they ended up generally in policy type jobs whether government, NGO or consultancy. I did a PhD after 5 years of the CS as I was fed up. I did end up in academia. I think the 5 years CS experience made me a better PhD student as I had project management skills, was a lot more resilient and was quicker to pick up on the game that needed to be played. I don't think there's a right or wrong decision for you. One doesn't rule out the other. The one thing that would make me tend to going into the CS would be your MH problems - you might find the CS to be a better environment for getting better than a PhD. There's something to be said for comparative stability, relative financial comfort and the ability to plan ahead for a few years compared to the roller-coaster of uncertainty that a PhD is.

Thread: How to deal with lack of attendance (lecturing)

posted
09-Apr-18, 14:39
edited about 24 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
I'm afraid you just have to grit your teeth and keep responding. Otherwise you will take a hit on the evaluations (and do expect many who never attended to criticise your teaching). I'm afraid the new loans for postgrad study mean that many masters cohorts now have exactly the same issues of uninterested students not willing to do the work but wanting a good mark as you get at u/g level.

Thread: How many emails to potential postdoc advisor?

posted
06-Apr-18, 17:48
edited about 4 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
OK this goes for the UK only as I think practices vary significantly around the world and I don't know where you've been applying. Can I recommend the EUI academic careers observatory site https://www.eui.eu/ProgrammesAndFellowships/AcademicCareersObservatory as a source of some info on other countries. Although it's a bit social science orientated the links for historians might be helpful for you. It is music you do right?

For the UK, I wonder if it's a timing question in part? If you are contacting people a long time ahead of the deadline those competitions might not even be on their radar yet. What might be helpful is an email to the research office asking what the procedure for applying at that institution is and when they would recommend approaching academics. Where I work people tend to only start contacting us after that year's call for applications has been advertised on jobs.ac.uk . I think you are better sending a cv and outline proposal as attachments though as it lets them a) check you are a viable candidate and b) suggests you are prepared to do the work. That said if you get no reply at all I'd give up, and for the person who was more responsive but swamped, just wait until nearer the deadline before contacting them again.

Thread: Moving all deadlines to a future date...

posted
06-Apr-18, 00:19
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
PM133 I think Tudor means that if the supervisors know when to expect work, then they can plan their diaries to block out time and Tudor gets feedback in an agreed turnaround time. Which will not be the case if Tudor were to give no notice whatsoever and sends the chapter on the same day that 200 final year exam scripts arrive, and need turning around by inflexible deadlines. It makes everyone's lives easier...

Tudor - sounds like you need the break, but from bitter experience don't just drop everything however tempting. Try to get to a sensible place to stop and write down what you thought the remaining tasks to do for the chapter(s) were. I once did exactly what you want to do and on returning from in my case overseas fieldwork, the chapter that had been a week off finishing no longer made sense. I had to start rereading sources etc and lost a lot of unnecessary time. A little bit of extra pain in leaving things in good shape with a plan would have been so much better. Enjoy the visit.

Thread: How many emails to potential postdoc advisor?

posted
05-Apr-18, 20:00
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posted about 1 year ago
Are you applying for advertised posts or to ask whether the person would agree to work with you on a fellowship application e.g. a Marie Curie/ British Academy / Leverhulme funded postdoc?

Thread: Kicked off PhD

posted
02-Apr-18, 16:41
edited about 21 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
One thing to think about is whether it is in fact going to be possible to complete within the permitted time frame, even if everything went perfectly from here on in. If you really only have two weeks of work from the first year to report, and you hadn't used the lab downtime to fill in the subject knowledge gaps, then I can see the argument for saying this is not a viable completion scenario. In that case, appealing on the basis of dyslexia might not make a significant difference to that judgement.
I think you would be well-served to read the regulations about these end of year assessments and check a) that procedures have been followed correctly and b) what are deemed acceptable grounds for appeal to make sure that any appeal you make, is as watertight as possible. I must say if your supervisor a) didn't warn you that this was a possibility and b) seems to be trying to suggest conspiracy rather than owning to their own failings, then perhaps this isn't a PhD you'd want to continue, as that's unprofessional behaviour, and a bad signal for the rest of the PhD.
One possible way forward might (depending on the funding source) be asking to restart, based on all the lab problems. If that is a possibility then seeing if you could change supervisor might also be an idea.

Thread: The in-between time of job applications and thesis defence, advice needed

posted
02-Apr-18, 16:27
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
In the UK, close to completion tends to mean have submitted the PhD and are either awaiting the viva or doing corrections. In that case, you'd just include in your cv /cover letter the date you submitted / viva date / outcome of viva depending on which stage you were at. Earlier than that and it's just the subjective opinion of the applicant as to where they are and we all know that most people submit later than they had first hoped, as things invariably take longer to finalise. So I guess the pay-off is whether you spend loads of time applying for jobs before you submit, and risk both not being seen as a viable candidate yet and delaying submission, or missing a perfect job. If you are in the UK, I'd suggest selectively applying for things where you REALLY tick all the boxes pre-submission but holding off on the more speculative ones until you can definitely be described as near completion.

Thread: Should I do a PhD in UK or Europe?

posted
28-Feb-18, 18:23
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posted about 1 year ago
The problem is I think that without the methods training you're not going to be able to publish anywhere decent in political science. I know from Portugal-based friends that currently quantity rather than quality of outlet is what matters but what would worry me, is whether that might change in future (as has happened in other European countries). There are though I think a few possible solutions - you could try to get a distance learning qualification in social science research methods eg https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/med/pg-modules/research-methods-(distance-learning).aspx and then back it up with ECPR summer schools in whatever specialist methods you need.
Another possibility (though Brexit might make this one problematic) would be to see if you could do a joint PhD with supervision from both a Uk uni and a Portuguese uni - there seem to b lots of French students doing this with KCL and get the methods from the UK side and content from the Portuguese.

But yes skipping methods is going to be very limiting career wise. Are you happy to stay in Portugal long-term too because a 2 year PhD programme as it's not Bologna compliant is going to raise eyebrows elsewhere too.

Thread: Broad knowledge for a professional doctorate?

posted
28-Feb-18, 18:02
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posted about 1 year ago
As a social scientist you would be expected to be able to give an account of the ontological and epistemological choices that underpin your work, so to some extent yes, you do need to know this stuff. On the other hand, a friend who did an EdD told me that the taught portion of the course was much more applied and specific to education, than the abstract research methods training the social sciences PhD students were getting. And of course the shorter EdD thesis means that there's limited space for those sort of chapters. If you're doing an EdD to try to move into academia though you'd probably need to take all that much more seriously though, judging by the sorts of articles our education faculty produce!

Thread: Which PhD should I go for ?

posted
20-Feb-18, 18:03
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posted about 1 year ago
One thing that I think would impact more on career prospects than the department's name is your ability to participate (or not) in things like training, departmental seminars, conferences, teaching opportunities, professionalisation events etc. You're always going to struggle given your job, but if the nearer institution meant that sometimes it would be possible, then that might be a consideration. I say this if you are hoping for an academic career in particular as there are so few humanities jobs that you really need to tick every box on your cv. It would be less of a concern if you intend to progress in your current career and just think a PhD would help.

Thread: Submitting corrections

posted
19-Feb-18, 14:17
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posted about 1 year ago
Is it an electronic or paper copy? My corrections were checked on a pdf version and I was asked to highlight them along with sending the spreadsheet you suggest.

Thread: Need a clarificatiion on ECTS

posted
14-Feb-18, 17:18
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posted about 1 year ago
yes sorry - ignore I forgot to divide by two. Then logically they might be referring to a four year undergraduate Masters as that's the only combo that would easily add up to 240 ECTS.

Thread: Need a clarificatiion on ECTS

posted
14-Feb-18, 13:58
edited about 16 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
A 2 year European masters has 240 ECTS. Sometimes they'll accept a UK 180 ECTS masters though - it's worth asking.

Thread: MA by Research Doctoral Upgrade Advice

posted
20-Dec-17, 19:18
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posted about 2 years ago
Why do you want to do a PhD? If it's just for the title and not for career purposes then maybe speedy completion is the main concern (although I'd be sceptical that you could complete in two years while working p/t) but if you have hopes of an academic career, it might be worth thinking about a couple of things.

1) Are you in an ultra competitive field like Eng Lit or History? If so you will need teaching experience and publications and conferences to even stand a chance of a p/t teaching fellowship at the end of it. That is hard to manage financially as a self-funder working p/t too. Getting AHRC funding too is a nice line on your cv if you think you'd be competitive.
2) Is the current topic / supervisor / university ideally how you'd want your PhD to look or is it compromises? If you are in a field where prestige of institution and supervisor matters eg philosophy too many compromises might make you uncompetitive.

Thread: Crossroads for Academic Career

posted
19-Dec-17, 22:08
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posted about 2 years ago
Firstly, no job is worth destroying your health for - and I know far too many unhappy academics who admit that the constant rejection and criticism is really wrecking their mental health and who wish they had jumped ship rather than assuming they'd eventually get a thicker skin. And let's face it, however much success we've had, that one really mean reviewer or ob rejection can knock self-confidence a lot. Do you have any sort of sense about whether it's the lack of long-term certainty or academia in general that's really getting to you at the moment? That might give you a clue of what to do.
It must be incredibly frustrating to be doing everything right but not getting anywhere. Does looking at who is getting the jobs give you any clues? If eg as a quallie you're stuck on the wrong end of a hiring market that wants quants? Or an unfashionable area of expertise? If you were getting interviews, I'd say you'll get there in the end but the no interviews with what sounds like a strong cv makes me wonder if the market is working against you in some way. I don't know Australian sociology but i'm also a social scientist and know for my subject some australian departments are obsessed with mimicking US trends, which is bad news for quallies.
To some extent yes all jobs have their downside but there's a special something about academia and mental health that stinks. You might indeed be happier in a different field. Maybe even charting the possibilities would give you a sense that you were regaining control over your future? Final thought does your university offer dedicated career advice for postdoc researchers? Mine does, it's good and few people take up the support. It might be worth a try if it exists.
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